Do I owe my local towing company if they didn’t make it to my location on time?

My car had a tire blow out and I had to pull over onto the side of the road. I called for a tow from company X and waited for 30 minutes. A tow car from another company I did no call offered me assistance before the other company arrived. I said yes as the area I was in didn’t make me feel safe. We were just about to head out when the first tow truck finally arrived after about an hour. They tell me that I owe them more than half the cost of the tow they were asking for originally for making them drive to my location. Do I owe the first company the money they’re asking for?

Asked on May 29, 2016 under Business Law, Utah

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you do owe them the money UNLESS they had some guaranty that they would be there within 30 minutes or yourwould not have to pay, or that if another tow company reached you first, you would not have to pay. Otherwise, if there was no such guaranty, you and they had an agreement, even if just the oral one formed over the phone: they would send a tow truck, and you would pay them for doing so. They honored their side of the agreement: they sent the truck. You therefore are obligated to pay them, since they were doing what you had asked them to do. The fact that you decided to go with another tow company or that the other tow company got there first does not change the fact that you called them out and they responded, and therefore you owe them money. If you don't pay, they could sue you and would, based on what you write, almost certainly win.


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